The attorney representing a Fairview Township woman accused of cutting her 2-year-old son's neck before attempting suicide earlier this year said the woman had mental-health issues at the time.
"I think she suffered a psychotic break," said Bucks County-based attorney Craig Penglase, who said he has been involved in other postpartum depression cases.
Candis Bradshaw, 36, of 89 Foxfire Lane, had at least two prior suicide attempts before the incident for which she is charged, according to her attorney.
"And I think there are more," he said.
Bradshaw remains in county prison on $200,000 bail, charged with attempted homicide, aggravated assault, simple assault and child endangerment.
The allegations: Fairview Township Police allege Bradshaw made two cuts on her son's neck, each several inches long, then stabbed herself in the chest inside their home sometime before 8:30 a.m. Jan. 17.
At a preliminary hearing Wednesday afternoon, District Judge Scott Gross ruled enough evidence exists against the former stay-at-home mom for her to stand trial.
Bradshaw's husband did not attend the hearing. Penglase said the couple is estranged and that divorce proceedings are pending.
Depression: After her son was born, Bradshaw sought and received extensive treatment for postpartum depression, according to Penglase, including being hospitalized a number of times and taking medication.
The attorney said it remains to be determined whether his client understood what she was doing was wrong.
Several of Bradshaw's friends and colleagues attended Wednesday's hearing, including Lillian Freiler, who said it was clear to her Bradshaw loves her son.
Friends supportive: Freiler said she and the other women came to support Bradshaw, "to let her know that we're not judging her."
Two people testified against Bradshaw Wednesday — babysitter Judy Labs and Fairview Township Police Officer William Buzzard.
Labs said when she arrived at the Bradshaw home that day, the door was unlocked and all the blinds were closed, both of which were unusual there.
Labs said after walking inside, Bradshaw said, "You need to ... talk to the people on the phone. I just stabbed myself in the heart." The people on the phone were from the security-system company the family used, according to police.
'I'm so sorry': Labs said she didn't immediately realize the boy also was injured, and assumed blood on his pajamas came from his mother.
"She just kept saying, 'I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry,'" Labs said, adding Bradshaw also said, "I'm going to go away for a long, long time."
"Her face was going gray," Labs testified. "Her hands were ice cold."
Buzzard and another officer arrived and stanched the bleeding until an ambulance crew arrived, according to testimony.
Labs said she realized the boy had been injured after his father arrived home that morning and she was handing the boy to him.
"He never acted like he was hurt," she testified. "He never cried like he was hurt."
Buzzard testified the toddler "was screaming for his mommy."
Bradshaw and her son were flown by medical helicopter to Hershey Medical Center. He was released a day or two later, according to police.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org.